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“Disappointing”

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Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in East Grinstead
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 14, 2012

2nd time to this hotel for a spa overnight treat with a friend. Didn't start well before arrival when, after booking 'guaranteed' through Spa Breaks, was told by hotel that they didn't have the twin room I had booked (although apparently had only 'requested' - 'guarantee' must have a diiferent meaning to what I thought) - after many emails to both the hotel and spabreaks (hotel told me my issue was with spabreaks and not them), I was informed by the hotel that I could have the twin room I had booked (which must have suddenly become available??).

Anyway, was pleased to have it sorted, asked to book into restaurant at 8 but was told that this time couldn't be booked and I would have to go at 7.30. No problem - meant a bit of a rush after the first spa treatment but no big deal. Arrived in the bar at 7.30, had a drink, chose food and were seen through to the restaurant that I couldn't book for 8, at 8, and was quite surprised to see just how empty it was. Starter was OKish, told waiting staff that we were popping out for a cigarette straight after the starter, popped out, went to the restrooms where one of the waiting staff came to find us to tell us that our food had been ready for 4 minutes and it was now having to be blast heated! I have not had the delight of being searched for by restaurant staff whilst in the restroom before and told off for not being where we should be - was quite surprised to see that this was how this 5* hotel operates.

So, back to the room - quite laughable really, they had gone to the extensive effort of replacing a double matress in a double bed frame with two single matresses and two single duvets within the same frame - no gaps, no space - just a token gesture so that I wouldn't be able to complain that I didn't get the room I had booked or been assured I would get. I have stayed in a twin room in this (and many other) hotels in the past and this was not a true twin room, in fact other 'couple' reviewers on here have commented on what a great double room it is!

What I cannot fault and the reason I returned in the first place is the Spa (treatments and staff). yes - they are expensive but they are of a very high quality and I would return purely for the treatments - I would however be reluctant to stay at the hotel again as I feel my original query/complaint was not handled at all well, the room we were given was not a true twin (and Spabreaks had advised me we would be getting the upgraded twin due to the problems we'd had with the booking which the hotel chose to ignore), it seems as though we were told we couldnt book the restaurant for the time requested for no clear reason & the food is average.

Some of the staff (receptionist, doorman, and some of the waiting staff) were great, the building is lovely and this could be an amazing place to stay but after two stays here now, I am not convinced that spending around £800 (including 2 treatments each) for 24 hours here is worth it - especially when you have a battle before you even get there to try to secure the room that you have booked. I am reluctantly disappointed :(

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Marmitemoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to add your review.

I am sorry that you had some initial difficulties with your room booking. I have discussed this with the team and understand that there was a difference between what you required and the booking we received via the agent you had used. Whilst this is not a common occurrence I would always urge customers to book directly with us, not only to avoid such circumstances but also on the basis that we will always offer better rates than third party agents.

With regards to your restaurant reservation, I can only presume that availability was limited at the time of making you booking. Availability does change on a daily basis which may result in alternative times becoming available at a later stage. I am pleased that we were able to accommodate your preferred dining time on the evening of your stay.

It was great to read how much you enjoyed the spa, your treatments and the overall service from our team and do hope that you will still return for future stays with us.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,700 - 1,706 of 2,147 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2012

My husband and I have stayed, dined and attended several events at Alexander House & Spa over the past 7 years. In our opinion the hotel, food and staff service have declined overall, whilst the spa (treatments and service) have improved. We LOVE the underground pool spa - great atmosphere. However, with each new renovation the hotel has morphed from something unique and special to just another chavvy, uber-sleezy sleek modern hotel that is no different from dozens of other wannabe luxury boutique hotels. We miss the lovely silk chinese wallpaper and decor of the formal salon, and the old country house character of a slightly faded glory of past times. The staff service has becomed equally jaded and bored. The food bland. All at 5* prices. Too bad.

Room Tip: The standard rooms are quite cramped. If you are staying overnight and claustrophic, it's worth...
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Vic_Vivant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to add your review.

Over the years we have made huge investments to the hotel which have generally been very well received so was naturally disappointed to read your review and am sorry that our choices have not meet your personal taste.

I am pleased to learn how much you love the spa and do hope that you will continue to visit Utopia in the future.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I went to Alexander House Hotel to enjoy a nights stay that I was lucky enough to win with the hotel chain on Twitter.

The house is set in 170 acres of parkland formerly owned by the family of Percy Shelly.

After a few arguments with the Tom Tom we arrived around 4.30 and drove in to the stunning grounds.

We registered at Reception and what lovely friendly girls at the desk! Very helpful and polite. The Concierge - Ray, took our luggage and then gave us a guided tour of the building which is just spectacular!
We had the Laburnum room in the new part of the building. The view was beautiful, with a scene over the spa gardens.


The room was decorated in Turquoise and chocolate and immaculate. Trish my BFF who came with me has an OCD for checking dust and believe me she did, she checked EVERYWHERE and there was not an atom ANYWHERE!

The room consisted of: Twin beds, TV, DVD player, Stereo, Books to read, Hairdryer, Coffee/Tea making facilities, Iron, Nail files, Sewing Kit, Shoe polisher, Safe, Fridge, and in the bathroom a selection of Thermal Spa products.



Dressing gowns and slippers to wear to the spa.

So we unpacked and got straight in to our cozzies and gowns and ventured to Utopia!


The staff were again without fault (and beautiful I might add) and showed us around. We didn't book any treatments due to cost and time.
The layout is instantly relaxing in the reception area with a shop and bar.
Down into the spa area we put our belongings in the provided lockers and ventured in.
First you come to the hydrotherapy pool which has different areas and strengths of water, to pummel every area and some you didn't know you have! On the ceilings is the cosmos which is simply stunning in the low light.

There is a spa pool which vibrates every inch and the gorgeous black tiled swimming pool which is very odd as I am so used to white or blue tiles! It is almost like you are swimming in black water.

Then off outside in to the spa garden with hot tub which is just to relaxing to be true!
2 hours later we washed and changed drank the complimentary Champagne and went out the the Reflections Restaurant for dinner.


Often when we go out the first thing we wait for is how long we have to wait before we are acknowledged.
We need not have worried - Kirsten (I apologise if that is wrong) was absolute dining perfection! Her manner, charm and courtesy was top notch as was the food!
After our delicious meal we retired to our marshmallow comfy beds and woke early next morning to do it all again before breakfast.
Hot tub at 7am is highly recommended to wake you up!

Down for breakfast and a delicious table of fruits, muesli and cereals and a choice of traditional or continental selection.
Toast, warmed pastries and juice / hot drinks set us up for the day.
Again the service was faultless.

We were sad to leave and return to the stresses of normality!

I would highly recommend this retreat of relaxation for any occasion. hen parties, weddings, birthday or just a getaway and you would not be disappointed in any way.

Thank you Alexander Hotel, I'll be back! Cheers!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank LemoncakeUK72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to add your review.

It was great to read how much you enjoyed your stay with us and I was pleased to read that you will be back to see us again.

Once again thank you for such a ‘wonderful’ review.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

We came to Alexander House as a birthday surprise for me from my husband! What a wonderful lovely day. The house is gorgeous, our room amazing beautifully decorated and very comfortable. The staff were absolutely amazing and so friendly and attentive without being intrusive. The food fabulous (afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast), the bar does a fabulous choice of drinks and will make most cocktails you can think of even if they aren't on the menu. my mojito was one of the best I have had. The spa was just fantastic so relaxing and the treatment I had was just lovely. I cannot praise Alexander House enough we left relaxed and re-energised.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cougs88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to add your review.

It was great to read how much you enjoyed your stay with us.

I do hope we have the pleasure of seeing you again soon.

Once again thank you for such a ‘wonderful’ review.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

We came here to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary and hadn't heard of this hotel before - we just happened to come across it on the internet. We took advantage of their overnight offer, which included dinner and breakfast and found this to be fantastic value for money.

The hotel is beautiful (we've stayed in many 5 star hotels and this has to be one of our favourite), the building is just stunning with beautiful rooms, wood panelled walls and a spectacular staircase. It was very clean, immaculate inside and the spa, replete with roman style columns was amazing and very relaxing. Changing rooms were great with sauna and steam room, and lots of space. The swimming pool with its waterfalls and the two Jacuzzis were luxurious and so relaxing. The room again was beautiful and clean, with a lovely view of the garden. The bed was really comfortable and there was a large TV/dvd in the room, tea/coffee making facilities, lots of really nice ‘smellies’ in the bathroom and a great bath, which filled up very quickly. There was everything you’d expect from a top 5 star hotel.

When we came down for dinner, we waited in the bar area while our table was ready and had drinks by a roaring open fire; what an experience! Dinner was fabulous and so was breakfast (very generous) and the service was amazing. All in all, we felt so pampered.

Due to a fault, the fire alarm went off at night and in the morning there was a note of apology on everyone’s table and the manager came ‘round to apologise to all the guests. I think they really do bend over backwards here to make you feel comfortable and to ensure you enjoy your stay. All I can say is thank you for making our wedding anniversary really special, we’re definitely coming back. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who likes a bit of luxury in a lovely historic building and who fancies getting away for a romantic break with their partner.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Femfop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to add your review and once again may we wish you a very happy anniversary with many more to come.

It was great to read how much you enjoyed your stay with us.

I do hope we have the pleasure of seeing you again before your next anniversary!

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

A friend and I spent the day in the Utopia Spa. The facilities are good, the pool and jacuzzis are lovely and the treatments that were included were really relaxing. Lunch was great, Two courses of fresh, simple food and the staff were really friendly and attentive. It wasn't too busy and it was very clean and well equipped. Like having GHDs in the changing room and key pad lockers are great. The products they use are lovely too and I didn't find any hard sell at all. I hink the spa days are amazing value at £110 including lunch and two treatments. I'll certainly be back.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank lizzie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to add your review.

It was great to read how much you enjoyed your day with us.

I do hope we have the pleasure of seeing you again soon.

Once again thank you for such a ‘wonderful’ review.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

I can't really fault the place for cleanliness, service levels and ambience. We did have a lovely weekend - the spa was a pleasure (I'd never really "got" the idea of an outdoor hot tub, but do now), the staff were all excellent and the room lovely, but it was a little too expensive. We'd booked the perfectly pampered break, so knew that it wasn't going to be cheap, but felt that both food and drinks prices were a little excessive. Our lunch in the brasserie on arrival came to £60 for a club sandwich, chicken caesar salad, bottle of water and 2 glasses of prosecco. If the food had been amazing, it would have been easier to stomach, but it was "ok". Having browsed the bar and dinner menus we decided that we'd just not bother looking at the prices, and just go for what we wanted, seeing as if we had done, we wouldn't have enjoyed ourselves so much.
If I was a lot wealthier than I am, I'd probably come here 2 or 3 times a year. As it stands, even though I truly would love to return, a night away (although an indulgent one) costing £800 does mean that we won't be going anywhere for a long while.
Thankfully, there was nothing sour to the weekend to make the value seem worse.
Truly recommended for people that want to splash out. Not for those on a budget!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tinkerbellamy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to add your review.

It was great to read how much you enjoyed your stay with us.

I do hope that you are not deterred from staying with us again, please do contact us to discuss any future reservations so that we can help meet the budget you have.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa

Address: East Street, East Grinstead RH10 4QD, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > East Grinstead
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in East Grinstead
Price Range: $242 - $839 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on 170 acres of stunning private gardens and parkland, Alexander House Hotel in Sussex is both a boutique retreat and an unsurpassed destination spa hotel near London, UK, the heart of South England's countryside. With tastefully designed, luxurious bedrooms, award winning Utopia Spa and a 3 AA Rosette restaurant, Alexander House Hotel is ideal for a weekend luxury escape in Sussex countryside and is a perfectly appointed private function venue, wedding venue near London and business events venue. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alexander House And Utopia Spa
Alexander House & Utopia Hotel East Grinstead
Alexander Hotel Utopia
Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa East Grinstead, West Sussex, UK

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